There is one girl I work with whom I believe Mary has a special plan for. She was born on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven and she shares her birthday with her grandmother. She always struck me as having a certain light about her. At first I perceived her as innocent and untainted by this sinful world. I remember her as being incredibly quiet when she first started working. She got excited by the simplest of things and addressed customers in a genuine way. One day Sarah Jessica Parker came into the store and everyone was completely star-struck, having no idea what to do or say around her. Not her though, she went right up to her and said she loved her in Sex and the City and she asked for a hug. Sarah Jessica Parker just melted and gave her such a big hug if you had seen it you would have thought they were long-time friends.
As I got to know her I realized that she wasn’t innocent at all. She had a child and she was addicted to marijuana, over-eating, and sex. When she hit her lowest point she was seeing a guy who completely manipulated her. I believe he was the driving force that led to her darkest hours. I felt a call to pray for her while I was on pilgrimage in France, specifically while in Lourdes. I believe Mary asked me to offer up my prayer intentions for her when I took the bath in the miraculous water. When I returned from France I witnessed her transformation — forsaking the use of marijuana, putting her daughter first, resolving to eat better, and ultimately breaking up with this guy. At some point she began to see me as a confidante and was eager to tell me about her progress. “I am working out more, I want to loose 30 lbs.” “That guy texted me again but I didn’t respond.” I could tell when she is really proud of something that she achieved because it was always the first thing she said to me. It had gotten to the point where she sought me out.
I have started to see her wavering though. She is using language like, “I want to be bad today.” She says this when she wants a treat from the pastry department, the treats she had given up for her diet. A few days ago she told me that she had gone back to that guy. I was immediately struck by fear for her. I wanted to talk with her about it and went into “fix it” mode but it was a busy day at work and we kept on getting interrupted. I was overcome with doubt and my mind was filled with conflicting thoughts. “Had I failed Mary?” “Has all this energy that Mary had placed in her been in vain?” “What should I do?”
I know Mary has a special purpose for her. When I heard that she was born on the feast of the Assumption I found myself saying, “you know Mary has touched you.” I don’t even know where that came from, it definitely wasn’t the words I would normally use. She has also been drawn to my Miraculous Medal which I bought in France. She once pointed to it and said “is the medal that is shining Mary?” She didn’t say shiny but shining, it is a subtle but important difference.
When she made the commitment to better herself I felt as though I was witnessing the prodigal son make his way back home and then welcomed with great joy by the Father. Of course we never hear the rest of the story. Were there times when the son questioned his decision to come back? Did the Father ever worry that his son would leave again? It was so beautiful getting to see my coworker’s journey back to the Lord; I don’t want her to stray again, not when she has made such great progress. I have such faith in this girl and in Mary’s role in her life. I just have to pray that Mary’s presence continues to grow in her life.
Originally published at Kitty in the City.